Charley was accused of making a name for himself.
He was accused of choosing a name that wasn’t his — and he was promptly charged with forgery.
On judgment day, Charley appeared in court, appropriately decked out to be in a courtroom, but not decked out with a lawyer.
“Where is your attorney?” the judge asked quizzically. “We can’t wait all day for an attorney.”
Whereupon, Charley responded with confidence, “I don’t need an attorney. I’m going to represent myself in this case.”
The judge, obviously frustrated at Charley’s insistence upon being his own counsel, reminded Charley of the old adage in front of the entire court — “He who represents himself in a criminal case has a fool for a client.”
The case was duly tried and Charley was duly convicted. Charley then appealed the conviction to a higher court, arguing, “By calling me a fool in front of the jury, the judge prejudiced the jury against me. I’m entitled to a new trial!”
IF YOU WERE THE JUDGE ...
Would you grant Charley a new trial?
THIS IS HOW THE JUDGE RULED ...
The judge held that in reminding Charley of an old adage, the trial judge was only warning Charley of the truth.
Based upon a 1959 California Appellate Court decision.
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